There are two flavors of corporate grants that schools can seek. The first is a very small grant, usually between $250.00 and $3000.00. You will find these small awards from stores like Walmart or Best Buy. Verizon has some grant opportunities like this too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with applying for these grants, they can be used to match bigger grants (to pay for supplies) and they are useful for getting your foot in the door and to know company contacts.
These grants are given to schools and other non-profit organizations within the community where the company or store has branch offices. It's a reflection of the company's desire to "give something back" to the communities where their stores are located. It also opens doors for employees to find ways to volunteer in the schools. After all, these students may come to work in the store someday, let's help them out on their way up.
Never overlook these opportunities when you are searching for support. It is an easy process to apply for these grants, and you usually get the money or materials you need very quickly. A materials grant from a store is called "in kind support." You can often get wonderful gifts of supplies and equipment from stores that sell the items you need. They are helping you in kind. Many big foundations require that a school seek funds from local sources before they will consider a project. They want to know that you are not pulling your eggs from one basket, that this is a community effort.
The other flavor of corporate grants is much more like a foundation grant except that the money comes directly from the corporation rather than its foundation. Confused? Many big corporations have a separate foundation from which big grants are derived. The foundation usually has offices at the corporation's headquarters in another town or state. The application will be longer and more detailed than the store grant application, but should be very similar to a private foundation application. These awards are also very competitive and difficult to get. A good way to apply for these larger awards is to start with a local store grant for a project you know will expand over time, and develop a relationship with local officials, a foot in the door. The local contacts will often be able to refer you to the right person in the corporate foundation, so it will save you a great deal of time.
Also like the private foundation grant, you will need to match your project goals very closely to the corporation’s reason for giving. I've talked about this before, they always have a philosophy behind the philanthropy they provide, and like a foundation, you will need to thoroughly understand that philosophy and match your needs closely to it. The best grant applications start with a need that is specific, the choice of grantor is selected especially from a pool of funders where there is a match. Corporate foundation or private foundation, the methods and reasons for providing support are the same.
Besides our Grants Database, which is the first place to look for support, there are some sources of information about the special type of grant we call "corporate".
DMOZ Directory of corporate giving (open source and free)
Let us know how you're doing, there are many ways to raise funds for your school, I've just touched on a few - comment on this blog.
Current Grant Opportunities
Foundation Grants from the Saucony Run for Good Foundation- the Saucony Run for Good Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children by helping to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. It acts to inform the public about its cause and prevention and provide funding to optimize the impact and success of community organizations that promote running and healthy lifestyle programs for youth.
States: All States
Average Amount: $1,000.00 - $10,000.00
Total Amount: $140,000.00
Address: 191 Spring St. Mail Drop 318S Lexington, MA 02420-9191
Website: Saucony Run for Good Foundation
Eligibility: Public School, Private School, Other
Program Areas: After-school, At-Risk/Character, General Education, Health/PE
Procter & Gamble Educational Grants from the Procter & Gamble Fund- P&G focuses its social responsibility efforts where they can uniquely add value so they can generate the most positive impact. Specifically, they will provide grants for: Providing the comforts of home- the everyday essentials that help create the experience of home for families who can’t afford them or who have been displaced; and supporting hygiene education and everyday healthy behaviors that help prevent illness and improve confidence.
States: All States
Website: Procter & Gamble
Eligibility: Public School, Private School, Higher Education, Other
Program Areas: After-School, Early Childhood, General Education, Health/PE